Prep Profile Marianapolis Prep
Marianapolis Prep has been a pillar of success and consistency in recent years, advancing to three state title games in the NEPSAC Class B tournament. Unfortunately for head coach Dave Vitale and his group, they have thus far been unable to get over the hump and claim that championship.
During last season’s title game it looked as if the third time would be the charm. With only six minutes to go in the game, Marianapolis held a 61-49 lead over Tilton, but was ultimately unable to hang on, falling to the Rams for the second consecutive year.
This year Vitale welcomes essentially a brand new roster, and although they are very different than previous teams, Marianapolis still has the tools to once again be a contender in Class B.
While past year’s teams have succeeded with overall depth and perimeter scoring punch, this year’s group will be dangerous with their size and length.
With a potential starting line-up that could read 6’4”, 6’5”, 6’6”, 6’7”, and 6’7” Marianapolis will be as big as anyone with interchangeable parts all over the floor.
Ironically, their tallest player may actually have the ball in his hands as Matt Barboza has shown the handle and playmaking skills this fall for Coach Vitale to consider using him in a point forward capacity.
Quinnipiac bound big man Ike Azotam has the tools to be a dominant force inside the paint for Marianapolis as his strong body and great athleticism would allow him to score points, block shots, and rebound the ball inside.
Sophomore Mike Neal is another big man who could have a productive season. He’s the sole returning member of last year’s squad, and after spending his freshman season paying his dues, he appears poised to have a breakout season.
Two international newcomers appear poised to round out the starting line-up.
Gedas Bartasius could end up being as important of a player as Marianapolis has this season. A veteran of the Lithuanain twenty-and-under national team, Bartasius has the size, strength, and skill to be productive inside and out. He also may be the highest level academic prospect Marianapolis has ever produced with a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT and a near perfect 790 on the SAT II math test.
Bartasius also isn’t short on personality. Asked why he didn’t get the perfect 800 on the SAT II, he jokingly responded:
“I didn’t get any wrong. I omitted one because I forgot my graphing calculator. Lithuanians are a little primitive in math.”
Rounding out the starting five will be Kristian Medina, a six-foot-four sophomore who does a little bit of everything and plays with a great motor. Medina has had plenty of international experience of his own, recently suiting up for Puerto Rico’s fifteen-and-under national team.
Marianapolis’ bench will be anchored by 6’5” junior varsity alum Zach Cisco who has steadily improved. Colin Duethorn and Raphael Lachick are two other players that could potentially contribute off the bench.
Ultimately, this year’s Marianapolis squad will be noticeably different from teams of the past, but there is no reason to suggest they can’t be equally successful and challenge for that elusive Class B title.